I could begin this post with some discussion of the weather but, like the gale force winds knocking down every tree in my town, I’m going to blow past that topic and talk about something more pleasant – food!
I’ve been wanting to post a recipe for some time, but the embarrassing truth is I haven’t made anything noteworthy in a long time. Thank God for good friends who are fabulous foodies and inspire me with delicacies dropped off at my doorstep that are so crazy good I had to share.
Jen Killilea is an amazing cook. Even more amazing is that she loves to share. One day she told me about a Paleo dairy free clam chowder she’d prepared. The secret…water soaked cashews!
I was skeptical. Jen generously dropped off a container full of her dairy free clam chowder and I was blown away. It was so thick, rich and creamy. I couldn’t believe that it was dairy free and that the creaminess and richness was derived from cashews. I nearly finished what Jen delivered straight out of the plastic container.
If you are an ambitious home cook and appreciate dairy free options, this one is worth a try.
Another delicious dish from the Killilea kitchen. Thank you Jen!
*Jen’s tips: do not over soak the cashews and consider investing in a powerful blender like Jen’s Vitamix – worth it!
Dairy Free New England Clam Chowder (Paleo)
- Cook Time:30m
- Total Time:45m
- 2 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 16 ounces frozen clam meat
- 5 slices bacon
- 1 onion
- 4 carrots
- 3 celery ribs
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 cups chicken stock, or fish stock
- 5 cups filtered water
- ground black pepper, to taste
- fish sauce, to taste
- Soak cashews in a bowl of filtered water for a few hours before you plan to use them.
- If you’re using frozen clams, skip to step 7.
- Rinse and scrub clams.
- Add clams to a large stock pot or wok. Cover with filtered water. Bring to a boil. Steam until clams just barely open, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Using tongs or slotted spoon, transfer clams to large bowl until they are cool enough to handle.
- Remove clams from shells by opening clams with a paring knife while holding over a bowl to catch juices. Sever the muscle from under the clam and remove it from the shell. Add the clams to the bowl with the clam juice. Discard the shells.
- Coarsely chop clams.
- Cook 5 slices of bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes on each side over medium heat. Chop into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
- Finely chop the onion, carrots, and celery ribs.
- Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onions, celery, and half the salt. Sauté for 7 minutes, stirring often. Then add carrots and thyme, and sauté for 5 more minutes.
- When the veggies are tender, add in the clams and a few tablespoons of their juice. Stir clams around with the veggies. Then add in the rest of the salt, garlic powder, and stock. Boil, then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes.
- While the soup is simmering, drain the cashews, rinse well, and add them to a blender or food processor with filtered water. Blend on high for 30 seconds.
- Add the blended cashews to the pot with the soup. Stir and allow everything to come to a light simmer (not a boil) again. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn the soup down to very low and cover to allow soup to thicken for 30 minutes.
- Add pepper and fish sauce to taste, garnish with crumbled bacon, and serve hot.